Neither game was pretty, but fourth-quarter heroics by both the South Summit boys' and girls' basketball teams ensured that the Wildcats will be around for another game in their respective 2A state tournaments.
At Orem High School on Friday, the South Summit girls were matched up against a stingy Beaver squad. Trailing 24-20 heading into the final eight minutes of play, the Wildcats' offense finally started hitting some shots, outscoring Beaver 11-6 in the final frame to claim a narrow 31-30 victory.
Though the Wildcats entered the game as the No. 1 seed from Region 16 and Beaver entered as the No. 4 seed from Region 13, South Summit coach Jerry Parker wasn't surprised by the close game.
"It was exactly what I thought it would be," he said. "Beaver, they do a great job. Their coach has been around a long time and has a lot of state championships."
Fortunately for the Wildcats, senior Alisha Lewis did what she's been doing all year, scoring points (10) and grabbing rebounds (11) in the win.
"It's every game with her," Parker said. "Even when she struggles shooting, she helps in other ways. She finds other ways to contribute. Teams are specifically trying to stop her and she still finds a way."
Natalie Nichols scored six points for South Summit and Rachel Rydalch added five.
As for the Wildcats' lack of offense on Friday, Parker said he's not too concerned.
"That's as bad as it can get, I believe," he said. "We definitely should shoot better next game. But our kids understand defense is what gets it done."
South Summit boys 64, Beaver 53
Also playing Beaver High School in Orem, the Wildcat boys won 64-53 on Saturday, but the game was much closer than the score indicated. Tied at 43 heading into the fourth quarter, the Wildcats kicked it into high gear, outscoring the Beaver boys' squad 21-10 over the last eight minutes.
South Summit coach Dusty Hatch admitted he was a little nervous on the sidelines until the fourth quarter.
"[Beaver] had been playing really well, so that was a little bit scary for us," he said. "They're hard to game plan against they run a lot of motion and read the defense well."
But Beaver couldn't find a way to slow down Beau Rydalch, who had 26 points in the win.
"He had an outstanding game," Hatch said. "He put the team on his shoulders. He kept us in the game in the first half."
Bracken Santos added 13 points in the win, Brad Richins had 12, Ty Jones scored seven and Steven Flinders chipped in with six.
The Wildcat boys are now 18-4. They'll play in the 2A quarterfinals at the Sevier Valley Center on Thursday, Feb. 27, against Emery. Hatch said the Wildcats will need great perimeter defense to slow down a tough Emery squad.
"I think our guard play defensively is going to be really important," he said. "With Ty Jones and Bracken Santos, we defend really well against quick guards. If we can do that in this game, we'll be OK."
Tipoff is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.
The Wildcat girls are now 16-5. They'll square off against South Sevier in their 2A quarterfinal matchup, also at the Sevier Valley Center on Thursday. Parker expects the Wildcats to find themselves in another close game.
"They're a tough team," he said. "It will be another battle. They have three guards that all score in double figures. They transition well, rebound well, shoot inside and get to the basket."
Tipoff for the girls' game is scheduled for 4:10 p.m.
Enterprise 76, North Summit boys 66
Despite having four scorers reach double figures, the North Summit boys couldn't stop Justin Prisbrey and Enterprise on Saturday in Orem, dropping the 2A state playoffs first-round game 76-66.
Prisbrey was all over the floor, scoring 27 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and even dishing out six assists.
Dillen Erb led the Braves with 19 points. Josh Birk and Cameron Smith each scored 13 points and Ryan McMichael chipped in with 12.
North Summit finishes the season with an overall record of 12-11.
Enterprise 28, North Summit girls 27
Haylee McQueen scored 16 points to lead the Braves at Orem High School, but it wasn't quite enough to take down Enterprise on Friday.
North Summit outscored Enterprise 9-6 in the fourth quarter, but the Wolves managed to hold on to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2A playoffs.
Riley Lyman scored 12 points and snagged 20 rebounds to lead Enterprise.
Kasidee Evans scored seven points and Ashlin Blonquist had four for the Braves.
North Summit finishes the season with an overall record of 17-3.
Richfield 82, Park City boys 58
Park City got 19 points from Reid Marks, but the Miners couldn't slow down the offensive explosion of Richfield en route to an 82-58 road loss on Saturday.
Brandon Willardson had 30 points to lead Richfield and Brenan Thomas scored 22. Tanner Jensen was the third Richfield player in double figures, notching 15 points on the night.
Bosten Van Der Veur had 12 points for Park City, Sam Kingdon and Konnor Andersen each had eight, Luke Carson chipped in with six points and Tom Wood scored five.
Park City finishes the season with an overall record of 7-16.
North Sanpete 59, Park City girls 39
A big third quarter in which North Sanpete outscored Park City 23-6 helped eliminate the Miners from the 3A playoffs with a 59-39 loss.
An outstanding effort from Taylor Gordon, who picked up 21 points and grabbed nine boards, led the way for North Sanpete.
Marina Mayo led the Miners with 12 points, while Hanna Shluker added 10. Madeline Komisar added seven points in the loss.
Park City finishes the season with an overall record of 4-15.